The US Navy's Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser, USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), has successfully launched its standard missile-2 (SM-2) and validated its capability as part of its first live-fire exercise.
During the live-fire event, conducted as part of the George HW Bush group sail (GHWB GRUSL) to improve strike group interoperability and prepare for an upcoming deployment, USS Philippine Sea demonstrated its weapons system capability.
The cruiser fired five rounds from each of its MK 45 5in lightweight guns, 100 rounds from both of its phalanx close-in weapons systems (CIWS) and 25 rounds from each of its MK 38 25mm, M240 and 50 calibre machine guns.
Ship's weapons officer lieutenant Eric Turner said: "We are going to have several more live-fire exercises in order to test our capabilities and response time to incoming threats."
The GHWB GRUSL involves five ships: the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush (CVN 77), Ticonderoga-class vessels USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), Arleigh-Burke class ships, USS Truxtun (DDG 103) and USS Roosevelt (DDG 80).
The SM-2 missile was also launched simultaneously by USS Truxtun followed by USS Roosevelt to hit a remote-controlled, subsonic missile drone or BQM during the live-fire exercise.
USS Philippine Sea will also conduct several training operations including air-defence, underwater and surface exercises alongside USS Roosevelt, USS Truxtun and USS George HW Bush as part of a month-long underway.
Designed to be launched from the MK 41 vertical launcher system (VLS), the Raytheon-developed SM-2 air defence weapon will be deployed onboard the US Navy's Ticonderoga-class and Arleigh Burke-class vessels to provide protection from a wide range of advanced threats.
Image: USS Philippine Sea cruiser conducts mission at sea. Photo: courtesy of US Navy.